The Gut-Brain Connection

Just feeling anxiety or stress can cause the brain to signal gut problems- like diarrhea or nausea. This signaling happens the other way as well. A stomach in distress can signal to the brain –feelings of  depression, anxiety and stress.

The main nerves that allows this communication. is called the vegus nerve. This nerve is main nerve going from stomach to brain and is in charge of our respiratory rate, digestion and heart rate. The vagus is also responsible for the regulation vasomotor activity, and certain reflex actions, such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting.

The vegus nerve

In a sensitive gut, stress and emotion can affect gut motility, contractions and even cramps, diarrhea and heartburn. Stress can also make gut pain worse in those with sensitive guts.


  1. Gut Directed Hypnotherapy has been shown to be as effective as the low FODMAP diet in the management of IBS symptoms and functional GI Disorders.
  2. Meditation- Training our thoughts to be in the here through meditation can help to decrease feelings of anxiety, improve sleep and decrease depression.
  3. Mindfulness- Not worrying about the future but staying mindfully in the present can help decrease anxiety.
  4. Exercise- Just getting an hour of time outdoors can help stave off depression , decrease stress and get happy feel good hormone- endorphins pumping .